Para News

The Impact of Trauma on Children

By Doug Van Oort

The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

The eight types of ACEs are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Substance abuse in the home
  • Family member with mental illness
  • Incarcerated family member
  • Separation/divorce
  • Domestic violence

As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

Suggestions for educators from the experts:

  • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
      In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
      It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
  • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience.
      Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning.
      Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery)
      Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
  • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
  • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
  • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
  • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
  • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
  • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
  • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
  • ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
        In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
        It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience.
        Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning.
        Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery)
        Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
  • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
  • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
  • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
  • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
  • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
  • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
  • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
  • ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
        In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
        It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience.
        Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning.
        Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery)
        Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
    • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
    • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
    • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
    • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
    • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
    • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
    • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)

    ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
        In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
        It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience.
        Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning.
        Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery)
        Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
  • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
  • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
  • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
  • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
  • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
  • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
  • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
  • ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
        In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
        It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience.
        Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning.
        Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery)
        Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
  • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
  • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
  • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
  • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
  • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
  • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
  • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
  • ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
        In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
        It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience.
        Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning.
        Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery)
        Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
  • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
  • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
  • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
  • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
  • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
  • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
  • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
  • ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
        In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
        It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience. o Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning. o Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery) o Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
    • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
    • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
    • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
    • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
    • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
    • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
    • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
    ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery)
        In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery)
          It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience. o Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning. o Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery) o Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
    • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
    • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
    • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
    • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
    • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
    • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
    • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
    ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery) o In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery) o It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bernstein)
    • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience. o Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning. o Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery) o Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bernstein)
    • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery)
    • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery)
    • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bernstein)
    • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery)
    • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery)
    • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery)
    • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein)
    ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children

    By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery)

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data)

    The eight types of ACEs are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Substance abuse in the home
    • Family member with mental illness
    • Incarcerated family member
    • Separation/divorce
    • Domestic violence

    As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery)

    Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”.

    Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data)

    Suggestions for educators from the experts:

    Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery) o In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery) o It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bornstein) • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience. o Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning. o Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery) o Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bornstein) • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery) • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery) • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bornstein) • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery) • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery) • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery) • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein) ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    The Impact of Trauma on Children By Doug Van Oort

    The Bad News: Researchers have found that “exposure to unrelenting stress and repeated traumas can change a child’s brain, making it…harder to focus and learn.” (Flannery) The Good News: Educators can create trauma-sensitive classrooms where children learn to calm themselves when stressed or experiencing trauma and return to learning. (Flannery) Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can “derail a child’s development and lead to a host of health and social challenges throughout a lifetime.” (ACEs Data) Researchers have found that 56% of Iowa adults had experienced at least one of the eight types of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) during their childhood and that 14% had experienced four or more! (ACEs Data) The eight types of ACEs are: • Physical abuse • Emotional abuse • Sexual abuse • Substance abuse in the home • Family member with mental illness • Incarcerated family member • Separation/divorce • Domestic violence As the number of ACEs increases, “so does the likelihood of having a wide range of poor outcomes.” (ACEs Data) While still in school, children who’ve experienced trauma score below peers in reading and math, even in homes with adequate income and parental education. They also are twice as likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviors. (Flannery) As they grow older, they’re more likely to adopt risky behaviors (smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), develop health problems (diabetes, heart disease, depression, STDs, early death) (ACEs Data), and become adults who are violent, miss work often, and marry often. (Flannery) Why is this so? Researchers have found that great stress or trauma activates the brain’s fight, flight, or freeze responses while shutting down areas of the brain where learning occurs. The brain is “fundamentally changed” to adapt for survival. (Flannery) These children struggle “with all areas of language, word retrieval, writing” and memory; the next day after being taught, “it’s like they never were taught.” (Flannery) Being in a “constant, fear-activated state of hyper-awareness” results in a range of responses from being quick to rage, defiance, disrespect, and aggression to appearing like “they’re zoning out” or “shutting down”. Flannery asks, “So, what’s an educator to do?” As mentioned earlier there’s good news. Research shows that “building caring connections promotes positive experiences for children…and helps those with a history of trauma heal.” (ACEs Data) All children experience stress, but in home and school environments with supportive adult relationships, the effects of stress are softened and brought back down to normal more easily, which also helps them “develop a healthy response to stress.” (ACEs Data) Suggestions for educators from the experts: • Don’t punish a child for symptoms of a real medical issue (trauma and stress disorders can be found in the DSM-V). (Flannery) o In particular, out-of-school suspensions should be avoided as they “likely feed the school-to-prison pipeline.” (Flannery) o It can be more traumatizing for kids to be picked up from school by parents when suspended. Instead, teach them to “pull themselves together and get back to learning.” One principal stated, “These kids’ best hope is to get a good education, so we want them in the classroom, and we want them to trust us.” (Bornstein) • Create a trauma-sensitive classroom where kids can feel safe and build resilience. o Greet and take time with each student at the start of each day before “diving into tasks” or learning. o Offer a “comfort zone” where kids can take a break and calm down, such as a beanbag chair. (Flannery) o Give options from which students can choose when they begin having troubles, such as putting on headphones to listen to classical music, going to a break area, or going for a walk. (Bornstein) • Keep a neat and uncluttered classroom. Mess and disorganization can be overwhelming and contribute to stress. (Flannery) • Paint or decorate walls with cool colors. (Flannery) • Have predictable classroom routines with advance warnings of changes (Flannery) and reduce the number of transitions. According to Chris Blodgett, clinical psychologist, change means danger for traumatized kids. (Bornstein) • Ask students to repeat verbal instructions. (Flannery) • Use written instructions and visual prompts as much as possible. (Flannery) • Give short movement breaks every 30 minutes. (Flannery) • Educate everyone in the school community – teachers, paraeducators, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground monitors – on the effects of trauma and the importance of staying away from “reflexive discipline” and helping kids learn to calm themselves. “You can have a great trauma-sensitive classroom,” says Susan Cole, Trauma and Learning Policy Institute Director, “but if the child goes into the hall or cafeteria and gets yelled at, he can get re-triggered.” (Bornstein) ACES Data in Iowa. (2015). Beyond ACES: Building hope and resiliency in Iowa. http://www.iowaaces360.org/uploads/1/0/9/2/10925571/aces_execsummary2016_snglpgs.pdf Bornstein, D. (2013). Schools that separate the child from the trauma. Fixes on Facebook: New York Times. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/ Flannery, M.E. (2016). How trauma is changing children’s brains. National Education Association (NEA). Education policy: School climate. http://neatoday.org/2016/05/17/trauma-and-children/

    paranews: 

    ESSA and Implications for Paraeducators: Questions & Answers regarding ESSA’s Impact on Paraeducators

    Interview by Wangui Njuguna, Education Daily with Marilyn Likins, Executive Director, National Resource Center for Paraeducators.

    Q: In your role as executive director for the National Resource Center for Paraeducators what do you hear from paraeducators about the supports they need in schools?

    A: Paraeducators need to have a thorough understanding of their roles and responsibilities tied to relevant, quality, ongoing training and supervision. They also need to have administrators, teachers and other educational staff recognize the scope of their responsibilities and demonstrate respect through appropriate job assignments. Paraeducators should not be asked to perform certain tasks without requisite training and there are some tasks that paraeducators should not perform at all. Their teachers and other educational personnel also need training on how to effectively delegate and direct the work of the paraeducator(s) with whom they work. Additionally, both teachers and paraeducators need training on communication, problem solving and building effective teacher/paraeducator teams. Again, they need to focus on the diverse roles and training tied to performance of those roles

    And finally, administrators need to understand their role in supporting teacher/paraeducator teams as they work and problem solve together to meet the needs of all children.

    Q: How does ESSA provide those supports?

    A: ESSA sets the stage for training and professional development (PD) of all key members of instructional/educational teams including paraeducators. Getting the word out to states, districts and especially schools will be important so that future training or professional development will also target paraeducator needs. As you know, in the past, PD has largely focused on administrators and teachers.

     Also, with the reauthorization of ESSA, and its support of including paraeducators in teams at the school, district and state level, training in effective communication, team building and problem solving is key! Paraeducators will be participating in these meetings, perhaps for the first time, and need to be familiar with educational terms and acronyms frequently used in such meetings. More importantly, they need to understand what and how to effectively contribute to team discussions as well as the value of their contribution.

    Q: Have the roles of paraeducators expanded over the years, particularly as states face teacher shortages, and how does ESSA’s definition of paraeducator reflect these roles?

    A: Yes, the roles and responsibilities of paraeducators have changed dramatically since they were introduced into classrooms almost five decades ago. As teacher aides, their role was to provide teachers with more time to plan and implement learning activities. Their roles were limited to performing routine monitoring and clerical tasks and maintaining learning environments. Over time, the roles of paraeducators have become more complex and demanding in all programs areas however training has not kept pace with the demands of their evolving jobs. These days in many classrooms, paraeducators are asked to work with some of our most challenging students with little or no training. And yes, more and more paraeducators are being tapped to fill critical teacher shortages. Many teacher preparation programs are recruiting paraeducators as potential teacher candidates due to their familiarity with the challenges of the job and the community.

    In addition to professional development for instructional teams (e.g., general and special education teachers, paraeducators, administrators, related services providers, etc.) ESSA specifically addresses career pathways for paraeducators who are interested in pursuing a teaching career.

    Q: Why was it important that ESSA maintains qualification requirements for paraeducators?

    A: To assume that anyone can do the job of a paraeducator would be a mistake. To increase outcomes for students, paraeducators must have foundational knowledge and demonstrate key knowledge and skills to provide effective instruction and classroom support.

    Q: How do paraeducators contribute to ensuring students get the educational services they need?

    A: Paraeducators are frequently the ones on the front lines working with some of our most challenging students. Teachers’ roles have become increasingly complex and demanding and at times the paraeducator has worked more closely with a particular student or group of students and is more familiar with their performance and needs. Well functioning teacher and paraeducator teams is the answer as such teams communicate daily to discuss student performance and address program changes as needed. Again training both teachers and paraeducators on building effective teams and communication is what it is all about.

    Q: What professional development do paraeducators need and seek out? I noticed that Montana Office of Public Instruction has dedicated PD for paraeducators; does the National Resource Center for Paraeducators work with State Education Agencies and LEAs on PD?

    A: First and foremost paraeducators ask for training in the areas of effective classroom and behavior management strategies followed closely by effective instructional practices as it relates to their assignment, e.g., special education, Title 1, ELL, etc. Training requests are also tied to what type of instruction or support they are asked to provide e.g., small group, large group, one-on-one, etc. Specific content areas are many including reading, math, Common Core, autism, teaming, communication and problem solving. Yes. upon request, the NRCP works with SEAs and LEAs to assist in PD as well as infrastructure development at the state or district level. Some examples include facilitating: building state infrastructures and systems that support paraeducator development at the state and/or district level, state standards & certification, state paraeducator consortiums and communication systems, university and community college coursework, and career pathways.

    Q: How does your organization garner increased respect for paraeducators?

    A: Our organization and others try to increase awareness at the national, state and district level of the contributions that paraeducators make on a daily basis to the educational and social outcomes of our students. We do this through our newsletter, presentations, publications, and annual national conference. We work to ensure that paraeducators are always at the table when professional development, standards and career pathways are being discussed. We also seek to collaborate with other national and state organizations, centers, and unions to ensure that the role paraeducators play in educating our students is recognized and valued.

    Q: what challenges do paraeducators face and what solutions should be implemented?

    A: You could write a book on this question! Paraeducators have multiple challenges that vary from state to state. These include a need for: 1) increased funding, 2) increased work hours tied to benefits, and 3) enhanced training tied directly to their job requirements.

    paranews: 

    Paraspotlight March 2013 Ms. Desha Casey

    Submitted by Cory Haley, Panorama Elementary,Temple Hills, MD

    It gives me great pleasure to highlight Ms. Desha Casey as an Outstanding Paraeducator. She is a young woman who brings with her a strong academic background, innovative professional qualities and is an accomplished educator. Ms. Casey has excellent leadership ability and I have been able to observe, support and embrace her unique style that extends beyond the classroom. As a co-worker who has worked closely with Ms. Casey, below are only a few of her many qualities and accomplishments that I have observed. She has:

    • Developed, designed, and implemented curricula -- from developing courses to personally delivering training to employees at a variety of levels.
    • Counseled individuals including staff, parents, and employees in both academic and discipline matters, as well as educational opportunities.
    • Effectively taught children of differing abilities.

    Additionally, she possesses a highly effective management style that creates a positive learning environment sparking an interest and academic success. More importantly she demonstrates great respect for students and appreciates their differences. Ms. Casey believes that all students provided with an imaginative education thoroughly grounded in curriculum can learn. She has that innate ability to keep focus on the tempo of the class and maintain structure while imparting knowledge. She will be a champion educator among the school's faculty and challenge all of her students for global success.

    States: 

    paranews: 

    HOT TOPIC: The Seven R’s of Behavior: Dealing with Misbehavior Made Easy! (OK, easier)

    The Seven R’s of Behavior:
    Dealing with Misbehavior Made Easy! (OK, easier)

    By Doug Van Oort, Assistant Professor, Kirkwood Community College (2008, revised 2010)

    Anyone who’s worked in a school knows that dealing with challenging student behaviors can
    be, well, very challenging. Nationally, nearly 50% of new teachers leave teaching within the
    first five years (NEA), and student behavior is a primary reason. Common sense tells us that
    other professionals who work with students (or consumers in agencies) with the most difficult
    behaviors may experience frustrations similar to teachers, resulting in a lack of job satisfaction.
    During the summer of 2008 while teaching a course titled Observation and Management of
    Behavior, I tried to reduce what can be a lot of very complex information regarding behavior
    into some essential understandings, or the 7 Rs of Behavior. Based on my experience as a
    teacher, coach, and parent, applying the 7 Rs of Behavior results in two very positive outcomes:
    • Most misbehavior will be prevented.
    • Misbehavior that does occur will be changed more effectively and in ways that
    preserve a positive atmosphere and your relationship with the individual.

    Throughout this article, I will refer only to students and schools. If you work or intend to work in
    a community agency rather than a school, try to adapt the information to that environment.

    The Seven Rs of Behavior
    1. Relationship, Respect, & Realization of Success
    2. Reason
    3. Relevance
    4. Replace Behavior or Restructure Beliefs
    5. Remind
    6. Recognize
    7. Responsibility

    1. Relationship, Respect, & Realization of Success

    According to Carol Ann Tomlinson, University of Virginia, “90% of misbehavior is prevented by
    simply building a relationship with your students.” (Tomlinson) When you’ve treated them
    with respect, made genuine effort to get to know their interests, gotten to know about their
    families, listened to them talk about their joys and struggles, and basically made it clear that
    you care about them, it’s less likely that they will misbehave in your presence. And, if they do
    misbehave, they will be more likely to accept your attempts to address the misbehavior as a
    result of the connection or bond you have with them.

    Developing an overall culture of respect in your classroom will also result in less misbehavior.
    A culture of respect involves all in the setting being respectful of others, themselves, and
    property. Adults and students are respectful of each other and of one another. The adults set
    this tone by modeling respect daily, in all their interactions, and by clearly communicating the expectation that respect for others, self, and property is nonnegotiable in this classroom.

    Studies also indicate that the realization of success - actually experiencing success in something of value - results in less misbehavior in students. (Mccullough et al) While not easy, educators must work diligently to ensure the success of each student by providing work at the right level of challenge for each, by providing needed support and accommodations, by explaining the benefits of learning, and by making the classroom positive and safe.

    By building a relationship with each student, developing a culture of respect, and making sure each student realizes success, educators will prevent most misbehavior.

    2.  Reason      

    Often, educators try to change misbehavior with rewards or punishment. These sometimes work…but typically only short-term. Research tells us that when the reward (Kohn 37) or punishment (Kaplan 197) is no longer present, the student typically returns to the original misbehavior. Often, rewards and punishment don’t even work short-term. Joseph Kaplan, author of Beyond Behavior Modification, shares the following example. (Kaplan 89-90) A teacher is faced with nearly an entire class that fails to get homework done. The teacher tries powerful rewards and punishments, but some students still don’t complete homework. How could this be? Well, for some students, the work may just be too hard. Others may choose not to complete homework because some peers severely ridicule anyone who does. Others may not see the value in doing homework (“What good will homework do me?  I’ll never amount to anything anyway.”). For these and many other reasons, the homework will not get done.

    Professionals need to diagnose the underlying reason for the misbehavior to effectively address it. One simple way of diagnosing is for staff to ask themselves, “What is being communicated by this behavior?” Often, a need is not being met, such as the need for tutoring for that student who finds the work too hard. By knowing the need, staff can work on ways to meet the need. Another method of diagnosis called functional analysis involves looking at aspects of the student’s environment that may be influencing the behavior, such as peers who ridicule, and then changing that aspect (changing peers’ ridiculing behavior in a respectful manner). (Kaplan 92) A third method, pre-mod analysis, examines the student’s internal state, for example examining if there are factors within the student (such as not seeing the potential positive results of completing homework) that prevent him from engaging in the desired behavior (in this case, completing homework). (Kaplan 96) The professional then must work to change the student’s internal state (in this case, the way the student views his human potential and how academic success can help him to reach his potential). Knowing the reason gives us the background information needed to design a plan to change the behavior. In Kirkwood’s Observation and Management of Behavior course, you will experience the joy of learning about these diagnostic methods in greater depth!

    Some adults don’t bother to diagnose the cause of misbehavior and instead simply identify the reason as, “He’s a bad kid.” This isn’t a reason; it’s a label. “He’s a bad kid,” gives up on the child. In most cases, professionals should see bad behavior as the result of bad circumstances, such as negative modeling (child becomes aggressive with peers after regularly seeing parents hit each other), unrealistic expectations (6 year old gets in trouble for being out-of-seat when expected to do seatwork quietly for long periods), or years of frustration (bright student with a severe learning disability verbally lashes out at others after years of ridicule by peers - and perhaps even ridicule by staff - as well as years of not having his learning needs addressed). Diagnosis allows professionals to uncover these bad circumstances. Once uncovered, bad circumstances can be improved for the child.

    3. Relevance

    To increase the chances of a student changing a behavior, professionals must get the student
    “on board”. The student needs to be convinced of the relevance or benefit of changing the
    behavior. Professionals do this best by discussing their concerns about the behavior with the
    student in private and in a respectful manner that says, “I want to help you.” And, professionals
    do this most effectively by addressing how changing will help the student, not the professional.
    For example, “This will help you do better in school…which will help you graduate…which will
    result in a better job and making more money as an adult,” or, “This will help you make and
    keep friends,” rather than, “This will keep me (the professional) from going CRAZY!”

    4. Replace Behavior or Restructure Beliefs

    When changing a misbehavior, it is essential that professionals teach the student a replacement
    behavior, a safe and productive behavior that replaces the old behavior. A key word is “teach”;
    don’t assume s/he knows how to engage in the new behavior. In our homework example, we
    would replace “not completing homework” with “completing homework”. (This may require
    teaching organizational skills, prioritization skills, etc.) In the case of “ridiculing peers for
    completing homework”, a replacement behavior might be “compliments peers for completing
    homework”. If we don’t replace the misbehavior with a positive behavior, the misbehavior will
    likely return. (Kaplan 63)

    In many cases, an underlying harmful belief or thought may actually be fueling a misbehavior,
    according to Joseph Kaplan (Kaplan 383). For example, a student may believe, “Nothing I do or
    will do in my life ever turns out good,” and so she skips school, fails to complete homework,
    and so on. We can teach her study skills and organization skills, but unless we change her belief
    about herself we will not likely see long-term positive changes in her behavior. So, we must
    replace this harmful belief with a positive one. This is done the same way she developed the
    harmful belief – through teaching, repetition, and real experiences. Perhaps she’s experienced
    mostly failure in school for years, along with negative comments from peers, parents, and some
    staff. Instead, if regularly given work at a realistic level of challenge, all the supports and skills
    to succeed, positive feedback about her effort, and a positive self-talk script that she regularly
    tells herself (such as, “I’m good at many things, and if I give my best effort in all I do, good
    things can and will happen in my life.”), in time she will start to believe this about herself.

    Important notes: Changing a student’s beliefs is a process that takes time! A belief is typically
    learned over the course of many years, and it will likely take a long time to learn a replacement
    belief. (Kaplan 411) Also, whatever approaches we take to change a behavior or belief must
    be positive and respectful. Avoid using rewards or punishment to change behavior and beliefs.
    They can create dependency, harm relationships, and lower internal motivation.

    5. Remind

    To increase the chances of our student permanently changing to the replacement behavior or
    belief, we can remind the student of the new behavior at key times. In our homework example,
    when the student is given homework or given time to work on homework in class, privately and
    respectfully remind the student of the relevance or benefits of completing it. Perhaps remind
    the student of a routine you’ve helped him develop for completing homework at home (go
    home, have a snack, relax with a TV show or exercise for an hour, then complete homework
    before doing any other fun activities). Another example might involve a student who has lost
    recess time in the past for throwing gravel at peers. In this case, as the student is going to
    recess, remind her of the replacement behavior you’ve taught - playing catch with a peer (with
    a ball, not gravel J). Visual reminders, such as a strategically-placed card that illustrates the
    new behavior or belief, are helpful for many students!

    6. Recognize

    Most of us appreciate when others recognize our successes, and our students are no different.
    When students display the replacement behavior or demonstrate their new belief, let them
    know you saw it. Decide whether or not it would be best to do this publicly or privately, but do
    let the student know. “Andy, great job on your homework.” Or, “Chanelle, I saw you playing
    catch with Juan. What a fun way to spend your recess!” Recognize and celebrate successes!

    7. Responsibility
    Whenever possible and as soon as possible, turn responsibility or control of a specific behavior
    over to the student. Students want control; give it to them when possible. Kaplan refers to this
    concept as self-management and cites reasons for doing so, such as: 1) it works in changing
    behavior long-term, based on research (Kaplan 341); 2) it promotes self-reliance (Kaplan 343);
    and 3) it’s a life-long skill, perhaps more relevant than anything we teach in school. (Kaplan 343)

    Conclusion
    The Seven Rs take more time and effort on our part to implement than rewards and
    punishment, but they’re more effective long-term. Our students deserve our time, our best
    effort, our respect, and our use of proven, research-based strategies.

    References
    Kaplan, J. (1995). Beyond behavior modification. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

    Kohn, A. (1993). Punished by rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A’s, praise, and other bribes.
    New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

    Mccullough, M., Ashbridge, D., & Pegg, R. The effect of self-esteem, family structure locus of control, and career
    goals on adolescent leadership behavior. Adolescence, Vol. 29, 1994.

    National Education Association (NEA). (2010). Research spotlight on recruiting & retaining highly qualified teachers:
    Recruiting & retaining a highly qualified, diverse teaching workforce. http://www.nea.org/tools/17054.htm

    Tomlinson, C. (2008). Differentiated instruction: Beginning the journey. 2008 ASCD Summer Conference on
    Differentiated Instruction, Understanding by Design, and What Works in Schools. Nashville: TN.

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